Medicare Coverage

Did you know there are a number of things Medicare doesn’t cover that most seniors need? From simple things like eyeglasses and dental care to more costly long-term care, there are big gaps in what Medicare covers and what it doesn’t. When you’re planning for retirement, taking your health needs into account is essential. With longer life expectancies, chances are good that you’ll be spending a significant amount on medical care.

Medical costs increase over time, and medical needs often do, too.

In 2013, Fidelity Investments said that the average 65-year-old retiree will need $240,000 to cover medical costs during retirement, including things like copays and premiums as well as what Medicare doesn’t cover. That’s a large chunk of many retirees’ savings. That number can quickly increase if you need specialized care for an unexpected illness. Long-term care can be extremely expensive.

An active retiree – or a younger person planning for future retirement – may find it hard to estimate how much medical care will be needed. Have a frank conversation with your doctor and share the risk factors you know about. Have a talk with your parents, too, and ask what they remember about your grandparents’ health issues in later life. You might even want to have a little talk with yourself.  Giving up smoking and taking up exercise can make a big difference to your health care costs in the future.

If you’re planning your retirement now and determining just how much you’ll need to save to live comfortably and with the medical care you need, meeting with a financial planner can help you determine what you need to save and come up with a plan to get there.